December 2018

Line in the Sand: So Long, Farewell Courtney

Author: Barry Kaufman & Courtney Hampson | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Opinion 1: Barry Kaufman
All good things must come to an end. In the case of this column, it’s come to the end of a chapter, but what comes next is still up in the air. As I’m sure she’ll mention, since by far her favorite subject is herself, this will be Courtney’s last column. As much fun as I have at her expense, and as many snide barbs as I lob her way, it has been an honor sharing this space with her.

I first met Courtney the same way many of you did, through her words. She was a columnist for Bluffton Today when I was working there and although I’d admired her work from afar we didn’t actually meet face to face until many years later. When we finally did, I discovered that she was even more charming and witty in real life than she was on the page.

It made taking on the task of disagreeing with her once a month in this column daunting, but somehow over the years we’ve been able to find at least one thing we don’t see eye to eye on. Except for all the times we totally didn’t, but even then we found some way to have fun with it.

With Courtney bowing out, there have been several discussions about what to do in this space. I selfishly enjoy having this space to vent about whatever issues have crossed my transom, and the folks at Carbon Dihydrogen and Carbon Diboron have been kind enough to offer to continue Line in the Sand, despite my habit of inserting chemistry jokes no one will get into my writing.*

But that will require a thorough, exhaustive search for a replacement. So with that in mind, please cut out the following and post it around town as you are able.

HELP WANTED: Do you have opinions on things? Want to share those opinions with a highly sophisticated, savvy readership? Do you yearn for the kind of celebrity status that comes with regional publication notoriety? If so, we’re looking for you.

Line in the Sand is a monthly feature in the pages of CH2 and CB2, wherein the topics of the day are dissected across two occasionally opposing viewpoints. And we’re actively searching for the Lowcountry’s Next Top Courtney.

The ideal candidate will have the ability to put up with their counterpart’s obscure pop culture references, keeping the conversation on track and brainstorming monthly topics. Ability to meet deadlines is preferred, but we will also weigh heavily any experience in making excuses for not meeting deadlines. Access to a well-stocked liquor cabinet is a plus, as is the willingness to bring some along to photos shoots.

To apply, send resume and writing samples to Whatsmyline@Celebratehiltonhead.com or just friend Barry on Facebook and give him the business.

*For the record, the chemical symbols for those compounds I mentioned would be CH2 and CB2, respectively.
______________________________________

Opinion 2: Courtney Hampson
As I sat down to write this, my last column, I received a text from a friend. Just a few hours ago, his son Jackson Walsh was born. I wouldn’t know this if it were not for this magazine. I met Jackson’s father quite by accident and ended up writing a story about him. And, then another. We chronicled his time as an Army medic in Iraq, the horrors of war, and his battle with PTSD. I watched him get married last summer and graduate the fire academy earlier this year. Today, he is a dad. I wouldn’t know any of this if it were not for C2 magazine. What started as my desire to write stories about interesting people turned into this column that I have been writing for almost nine years. (Thus, making C2 and its readers my longest serious relationship on record.)

If your memory is better than mine, you’ll recall that Barry wasn’t my first adversary on these pages. No, the other guy was a certified jerk, and after a couple years, I sought a friendlier foe. Barry was my perfect sparring partner. More often than not, we agreed on the topic but took opposing sides to entertain you. We stretched our brains and our research acumen in the process.

We wrote about traffic circles, wisdom (and its opposite—Donald Trump), kindness, beach etiquette, teachers, cheaters, heroes, redemption, jury duty, gratitude, racism, history, masculinity, guns, marriage, Halloween, lying, swearing, cats, television, music, movies and more. We’ve covered a lot.

We bonded over our shared northern heritage, our disdain for hypocrisy, and enjoyment of making people laugh. Barry made me a better writer. With each issue, I would read his column and think, “His was better than mine. I’ll get him next time.”

I upset the people of Sun City when I wrote about the pineapples and risqué behavior. I’ve lost friends for using their Facebook posts as column fodder. I’ve been pulled aside by folks I’d assumed were conservative to tell me they loved my column and liberal opinions. I’ve written about first dates, an ex-boyfriend who loved porn (yeah, he doesn’t talk to me anymore), and other relationship ups and downs. It’s all been real. In some ways, this column has been my journal.

I will miss my monthly email exchanges with Barry and the opportunity to tell you what I think. My editor will get to breathe a little easier not waiting for my column to arrive just minutes before deadline. On that note, thank you, Maggie, for taking a chance on me. It’s been quite a ride.

In the end, I’m not that interesting. Writing about others and uncovering their stories is what inspires me. I’ve met some of my closest friends, like Jackson’s dad (and the man sitting on the couch next to me right now), writing feature stories. And I’ll keep doing that.

Thank you for reading. It’s meant the world.

Let Us Know what You Think ...